Sehwag 175 off 140 balls : India begin World cup 2011 in style.
Virat Kohli. Virender Sehwag's brutal century and Virat Kohli's matured hundred saw India beat Bangladesh by 87 runs in the opening game of the 2011 world cup. After India put up a massive 370 runs while batting first, the match was realistically over although only formality was remaining in the second innings which Indian bowlers quite comfortably completed.

Bangladesh got off to a rocket start and made a statement that they aren't going down without giving a fight against a mountaneous Indian total! S Sreesanth was rusty early in the innings and Southpaw Imrul kayes took full advantage of it as he smashed 24 runs in the pacer's third over and 50 was brought up in just the 5th over. Unfortunately, the fight could last only for five overs as MS Dhoni's move of bring in Munaf Patel instead of Sreesanth for the sixth over which proved to be succesful as Munaf got the wicket of a dangerous looking Kayes to a ball that straightened to the stumps and left hander chopped the ball onto his stumps trying to drive Munaf through the off side. Zaheer was keeping it tight from the other end and even though Bangladesh were maintaining a decent run rate, the target was so huge that they never looked like getting anywhere near it inspite of playing well! There were few good partnerships early in the innings and both Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal scored half centuries but they were showing resilience when need of the hour was to play aggressive cricket.

The required run rate was increasing by each passing over and pressure was far too much for the Bangladeshi batsmen as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. Harbhajan Singh foxed Junaid Siddique and Shakib in his spin while Munaf bagged Tamim's wicket thanks to a good low catch by Yuvraj Singh at mid-wicket. After that, it was just a matter of time as Bangladesh could just manage 283 runs in their 50 overs.

Earlier, Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and put India into bat mainly because dew was supposed to a major role in the second innings here at Mirpur and history also showed that as the last 12 matches at the venue were won by the team batting second. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag came out to open the Indian innings and Sehwag silenced the excited Mirpur crowd off the very first ball of the innings by smashing Shafiul Islam for a baundary between point and covers in typical style and ended the over in exact same fashion. Tendulkar too looked in touch from the outset, got off the mark with a four and played few more beautiful strokes. Bangladeshi bowlers were trying too hard to get a wicket early on in the innings and as a result they were overpitching and bowling on to the pads of Indian batters. Tendulkar and Sehwag gave India a solid begining and brought up the fifty of the innings in only the 9th over, the 15th half century stand between them.

However, Tendulkar was run out by Shakib as both the batsmen were ball watching as Tendulkar ran straight down to the other end while Sehwag didn't move a feet. It was the only way that partnership could have broken!

Virender Sehwag. Gautam Gambhir came in next to join Sehwag and looked ominous. It was difficult to score after the ball lost its shine as the pitch had gone slow and the ball was keeping low, considerably. Despite that, Gambhir and Sehwag rotated the strike like pros and cashed in on lose deliveries to score baundaries. Sehwag brought up his 37th fifty in just 45 balls, by coming down the track and hoisting Razzak into the second tear over deep mid wicket. Bangla captain Shakib then brought in offspinner Mohammadullah into the attack and it proved to be a smart move as he got the wicket of Gambhir against the run of play. Gambhir tried to work the ball on the on side without covering his wicket and edged the ball onto the stumps.

Sehwag, at the other end, was playing a chanceless innings. he was showing good application and patience and it seemed that he had taken his decision of batting 50 overs very seriously. The Delhi duo of Sehwag and Virat Kohli then started to take the innings forward and they did an excellent job, running between the wickets smartly and they understood the conditions pretty well. Kohli, once again, was showing teriffic maturity for his young age. Meanwhile Sehwag's hundred and India's 200 was brought up in just the 32nd over and both Sehwag and India were looking set for a big score! Kohli too got into the act by hitting 3 boundries off the 33rd over of Naem Islam.

Consequently, the batting power play was taken by India in the 34th over along with the new ball during second drinks break. Kohli brought up his 50 off 45 balls in the 37th over. Sehwag was limping and asked for a runner and as a result, Gambhir came in as his runner as Sehwag reached another milestone of 150 runs in the 42nd over. Sehwag was playing fluently and was looking set to get the elusive odi 200 but this dream was just too good to last as Shakib ended his amazing knock when he was on 175. Sehwag, having made his highest ODI score, tried to play a lazy shot on the off side but edged the ball straight onto the stumps. Sehwag's breathtaking innings came off just 140 balls and included 10 fours and 5 huge sixes (4 of them after he reached his century). Kohli got to a well made century of just 83 balls. A ton on his debut in the world cup is something he will savour for the rest of his life! Yousuf Pathan fell off the last ball of the innings and India ended their innings on a massive 370/4.

Note : Junaid Siddue became them 100th batsman to be run out in history of cricket world cup.

The scorecard :-
Batsman   R B 4s 6s
Virendra Sehwag b Shakib 175 140 14 5
Sachin Tendulkar run out (Shakib) 28 29 4 0
Gautam Gambhir b Mahmudullah 39 39 3 0
Virat Kohli not out 100 83 8 2
Yusuf Pathan c Rahim b Shafiul 8 10 0 0
Yuvraj Singh          
MS Dhoni          
Harbhajan Singh          
Zaheer Khan          
S Sreesanth          
Munaf Patel          
Extra : 20 (16 wides, 1bye, 2legbye, 1noball)
Total : 370 runs in 50 overs for 4 wickets
Bowler Overs Maiden Runs W Extra
Shafiul Islam 7 0 69 1 2 wd, 1nb
Rubel Hossain 10 0 60 0 5 wides
Abdur Razzak 9 0 74 0 1 wide
Shakib Al Hasan 10 0 61 1  
Naeem Islam 7 0 54 0  
Mahmudullah 7 0 49 1 3 wides
           
Batsman   R B 4s 6s
Tamim Iqbal c Yuvraj b Patel 70 86 3 1
Imrul Kayes b Patel 34 29 7 0
Junaid Siddique st Dhoni b Harbhajan 37 52 1 1
Shakib Al Hasan c Harbhajan b Pathan 55 50 5 0
Mushfiqur Rahim c Rahim b Zaheer 25 30 2 0
Raqibul Hasan not out 29 28 0 0
Mahmudullah b Patel 6 6 0 0
Naeem Islam lbw b Patel 2 8 0 0
Abdur Razzak lbw b Zaheer 1 5 0 0
Shafiul Islam run out (Harbhajan) 0 1 0 0
Rubel Hossain not out 1 6 0 0
Extra : 24 (13 wides, 10 legbyes, 1 noball)
Total : 284 runs in 50 overs for 9 wickets
Bowler Overs Maiden Runs W Extra
S Sreesanth 5 0 53 0 1nb, 1wd
Zaheer Khan 10 0 41 2 4 wides
Munaf Patel 10 0 48 4  
Harbhajan Singh 10 0 41 1 1 wide
Yusuf Pathan 8 0 49 1 2 wides
Yuvraj Singh 7 0 42 0 1 wide
           

FastCricket welcomes your feedback :

*   * *